February 9, 2009


An International Space Station Expedition 18 ARISS school contact has been planned with participants at 1st and 2nd Lyceums of Alexandroupolis, Greece on Wednesday 11 February 2009. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 07:43 UTC.

The contact will be a direct between stations OR4ISS and SX7ISS. The contact should be audible over most of
Europe and the Near-East. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz downlink. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.

Alexandroupolis is the capital of Evros (population over 60.000) and has a leading role in the geographical area of
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, being the connecting gate between the countries of the European Union, the Mediterranean area, Asia and the countries around the Black sea. Therefore, the town has become one of the major junctions of the European Union.


The ARISS school contact will take place in 1st High School Alexandroupolis, Evros, Greece. About  70-80 students from 1st and 2nd High School will participate to this event. Students are aged 15-16 years.

Orestiada High School will also participate (about 25 students). All the students have astronomy lessons in 2nd Class.

Members of Thrace Amateur Astronomy Club (founded 2004) will be there. This club will organize the 6th Panhellenic Amateur Astronomy Conference 25-27 September 2009.


The participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. Panagiotis. Do all the members of the crew have equal access to the rooms of ISS or is there any restricted access to some of them?


2. IVasilis. What made you decide to become an astronaut ? 


3. Paraskevi. Have you ever faced any kind of technical problems while onboard ISS ?  


4. Vagelis. How many individuals does it take and for how long can one stay in the ISS? 


5. Fotis. Do you regard a manned mission to the Mars in the next 5 to 10 years feasible?


6. Stavroula. Can you tell us which is the most important task you have to do during your mission?


7. Rafaella. How long does the training of a cosmonaut last?


8. Georgios. Do you believe that your ISS experience will influence your future life in any way?


9. Marina. Can the ISS be functional for a while unmanned or is the continual presence of the crew essential? 


10. Nikolaos. If you had the possibility would you choose a permanent stay on the ISS? 


11. Despoina. We know that your program is full. Nevertheless how do you spend your spare time, if you have any? 


12. Vasilios. How long does the flight up to the connection with the ISS take?   


13. Dimitra. What do you normally do in the station and what are you working on during these days? 


14. Athanasia. We assume that you work all day long. Do you have any spare time for yourselves? 


15. Petros. Do you have enough time to communicate with your families?


16. Dimitra. What are the temperature conditions and pressure inside and outside the station? 


17. Dimitra. In the past many accidents occurred. Aren't you afraid of the fact that this might happen again every time you are sent up there?


18. Sofia. How many times a day do you eat and what do your meals look like? Do you take all the necessary nutritional substances you need?


19. Alexandros. Where do you get electricity from into the station?  


20. Sofia. How does it feel when you are looking at the earth and our whole solar system?



ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology, and learning.

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman